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Poster: Javik Date: Apr 8, 2005 5:42pm
Forum: petabox Subject: Re: 18 PCI slots, 72 SATA drives per computer?

Wow, where are you pulling these images from? I cannot find that 48-drive 4U-drawer case on Orbit Micro's website. Is this a custom-build case you're exploring? :)

It looks like some nice engineering, with vertical hotswap drives with laminar airflow through the drive stack for array cooling, pulling in air through the front of the frame straight through to the back, and drives insert down into the airflow.

The only downside is that this design means sliding out the drawer with the power on to hotswap drives. But still, very nice and superdense. :)


I have one crazy suggestion for this design...

Does it really matter if drives hang in midair upside-down, supported only by the hotswap latch? That 4U 48-drive drawer chassis could easily become an 8U 96-drive drawer by mounting another layer of drives.... upside down... below the upper drive banks.

To swap out a failed drive in the lower bank, merely pull out the 8U drawer, lay on your back on the server floor, and pull the hotswap tray out of the "bottom" side of the drawer.

(This 8U two-layer design is not recommended for the bottom 4U of the rack due to drive accessibility issues. But in the same way the "regular" top access drawer likely isn't recommended for the top of a rack in a room with low ceilings, for the same accessibility reasons..) :)

A two-layer 8U design would mean more room in the back of the chassis for more than 96 drives total, since the upside-down drives would all connect to the single motherboard/backplane in the upper section of the chassis. There may be enough room to pack in another bank of 36 to 48 drives behind the front bank of 48 drives in the upside-down drawer, for a theoretical max total of 144 drives in the one 8U chassis.

More than 72-drives is possible on the 18-slot backplane by using SATA controllers with more drive ports. If you wanted to get really crazy-dense, Adaptec is making a 16-drive SATA RAID controller, though it is 64-bit PCI, alas. But, 64-bit cards are usually 32-bit compatible if stuck in a 32-bit slot with the extra connectors hanging in midair unconnected.

So, you could have nine of these plugged into the PCI backplane for 144 drives per drawer, and a max limit of 288 drives per 18-slot backplane if someone could get creative enough with the drive packing.. 8-)

16x Adaptec SATA controller:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=16-103-171&depa=0


This post was modified by Javik on 2005-04-09 00:42:52

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Poster: elhoim Date: Apr 23, 2005 4:00am
Forum: petabox Subject: Re: 18 PCI slots, 72 SATA drives per computer?

> Wow, where are you pulling these images from?
> I cannot find that 48-drive 4U-drawer case on Orbit Micro's website.
> Is this a custom-build case you're exploring? :)

If you search for the original manufacturer of the cases that Orbit Micro is selling, you find AIC:
http://www.aicipc.com/ .

By searching their catalog for 5U cases, you find RMC5D2:
http://www.aicipc.com/productDetail.asp?id=164 but with no images available.

So you use the good old google:
http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&q=RMC5D2
and you find:
http://www.microdepotinc.com/products.cfm?series=SYS2&type=5U&ID=RMC5D2
http://www.ciara-tech.com/pdf/RMC5D2.pdf

> There may be enough room to pack in another bank of 36 to 48 drives behind the front bank of 48 drives in the upside-down drawer, for a theoretical max total of 144 drives in the one 8U chassis.

Yeah but i think then you have issues like heat-dissipation, airflow, power (~144x16Watt from head), power connectors, etc... :)

And instead of using Adaptec cards with 16ports, i would use Raidcore cards which allows OS (win/linux) to see 4 cards (and thus 32drives) as one entity. But then there are problems on having more than 4 of those cards in a system.
http://www.pricegrabber.com/search.php?topcat_search=1&form_keyword=raidcore&topcat_id=

48 drives in 5U is just nice density... :)

This post was modified by elhoim on 2005-04-23 10:50:39

This post was modified by elhoim on 2005-04-23 11:00:07

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